Youth Hostel Association to sell 20 sites

30th June 2023 | Jack Oliver

The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) is selling 20 of its 150 sites after COVID lockdowns and financial pressures put a squeeze on the organisation.

“Pandemic shutdowns, the cost of living crisis and steep inflation have affected us like other charities and hospitality providers”, the YHA said in a statement.

Earlier in June, the YHA announced a three-year business plan aimed at securing the “long-term prosperity” for the organisation. It struggled in 2020/21 during the COVID-19 pandemic and lost over 80% of its income. Now just 60% of its hostels provide 90% of its income.

The YHA’s business plan looks to raise occupancy in its more popular locations, increase the amount of customers by 30% and cutting staff numbers by 20%.

The organisation is looking for buyers that will continue to operate the sites as hostels “wherever possible”.

That said, it is likely that some will be sold into private hands with the proceeds going towards the maintenance of the remaining hostels.

Properties up for sale include YHA Boswinger in Cornwall, on the market for £550,000; YHA Wells-next-the-Sea, in north Norfolk, on sale for £400,000; as well as a gothic mansion in Brontë country, West Yorkshire; a Victorian castle in Eyam, Derbyshire; and a Scandinavian-style hostel in the Lake District. The combined value of the properties is £10.32m.


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